2017-10-12 / Opinions

VIEW from Lansing

MCAN applauds HB 4181 passing out of Senate Education Committee

LANSING - The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) supports the latest legislative effort to strengthen requirements for school counselors. House Bill 4181, introduced by Rep. Brett Roberts (R-Charlotte), would require school counselors to receive training on career and college advising to help guide the decision-making of high school students. HB 4181 was approved out of the Senate Education Reform Committee, Tuesday, Oct. 3. This legislation aims to bolster school counselors’ proficiency when it comes to helping students pursue postsecondary opportunities.

MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students and students of color. Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased - from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.4 percent in 2015.

To ensure that students have up-to-date, accurate information when choosing a postsecondary education path, it is essential that counselors receive the training that is needed to help students develop their plans.

“Arming counselors with the information and materials they need to guide students is a win/win and sets both Michigan’s counselors and students up for success,” said MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson. “We have offered counselor training courses to supplement and strengthen the efforts and impact counselors make every day in the lives of students. Postsecondary credentials are essential in today’s knowledge-based economy and school counselors must have the proper training to help students navigate every aspect of the college-going process - academic, financial and social.”

MCAN offers various counselor training courses for counselors, in addition to scholarships for professional development. Most notably are the School Counselor Postsecondary Training Course and the Advanced Counselor Course which cover advanced topics in college and career advising. To date, approximately 450 Michigan school counselors have participated in the course.

(Editor’s note: For more information about MCAN’s counselor offerings, see www.micollegeaccess.org/events/school-counselor training.)

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